With our classroom rapport established, the first change was to name my guided reading (Book Clubs) what a difference in the opinions of 10 year old. Second, I placed the students based on their reading lives not their fluency level, DRA level, not if they are in special ed or in our LEAP (gifted) program, but who they are as readers. Already I felt better about the reading groups.
|Enjoying A Day's Work by Eve Bunting
I did set the focus for the clubs: to practice the fictional reading strategies that we had learned the first trimester. I gave them a rubric that I would use to grade their thinking in addition a timeline of expectations. Again they were in control with my guidance. Powerful!
Finally I was able to meet with each group on drop in visits. I would just pull a stool up to the club and listen to their conversations. I would take some notes if I needed to touch base with a student later to ask a question. Occasionally I would leave a note with a club to help guide their conversations for the day: How did the character's motivation influence his choice at the garden?
For the first time in two years, I am pleased with my reading groups now officially called book clubs. My students view book clubs as an extension of our classroom reading and most importantly they value the time they spend in their small group discussing, learning and extending their reading lives.
|Enjoying Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco